Project description

An important prerequisite for rebuilding a sustainable tourism industry in the north after a global pandemic triggered by covid-19, is knowledge of ways this pandemic change future travel patterns, who the guests will be and what preferences they will have.

The coronavirus has reminded us of our global dependence and our vulnerability. In addition, in the future we will need knowledge about how tourism can contribute to local value creation and safe jobs and support the social, cultural and economic rebuilding of northern destinations. We want to understand and participate in the reconstruction of a knowledge-driven sustainable tourism industry.

The project consists of two pillars. The first pillar will focus on what tourists do after the covid-19 and how they think about their own holiday mobility. We will be particularly interested in the ways in which the pandemic has contributed to changes in attitudes and behavior. Is it the case that the pandemic has made Norwegians more aware of and preoccupied with the environmental consequences of extensive holiday mobility and will national, regional and local destinations change their significance? The first data collection was carried out in September 2021. We will collect data each year during the project period to shed light on changes that occur over time. Professor Bente Heimtun will have the overall responsibility for this pillar.

In the second pillar, we focus on destination development. Our empirical area is the Helgeland coast and Sápmi. still with a comparative ambition in relation to Finnmark. Our ambition is to rethink how destination- and place development must be seen in relation to each other in order to realize the UN's sustainability goals. Development of destinations goes hand in hand with development of places. Will thinking about what a destination is and what it means to whom - change in the aftermath of the covid pandemic? Will local values, community and services that benefit both hosts and guests be centered in new ways that make sustainability clearer or more challenging? What "new North" is emerging in the ruins of the pandemic? We also want to map what are the important trends in ongoing destination development, and how destinations implement the UN's sustainability goals.

Co-production of knowledge is a principle that is important in the project; and throughout the project period we will seek to identify relevant collaboration partners, and not least what collaboration between researchers and destinations can be built around.

Professor Britt Kramvig in collaboration with postdoc Tarja Salmela will have overall responsibility for this pillar.